Selection to the Surgical Education and Training (SET) program
occurs annually. Some of the larger surgical specialties
(General Surgery; Orthopaedic Surgery; Plastic and Reconstructive
Surgery; and Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery) select as a
national activity, and in the other surgical specialties as a
In 1998 the College endorsed the Best Practice Framework for
Trainee Selection that subsequently became known as the
Brennan Principles which continue to underpin the College Trainee
- Selection processes for surgical education and training must
comply with AMC and MCNZ accreditation requirements and the Brennan
- Selection processes must be merit based, free of bias and, to
the greatest possible extent, quantifiable.
- Selection processes must be compliant with relevant Australian
and New Zealand laws and the principles of natural justice and
- Selection processes must be open to external scrutiny and
conducted in an accountable manner using documented processes.
- Selection processes must be conducted on a national or
bi-national basis in Australia and New Zealand.
- The opportunity to apply for selection must be publicised in a
manner which creates awareness of opportunity for all eligible
- Criteria in all of the tools must be related to objectives of
the training program and the desired attributes of graduates.
Brennan Report (PDF 936 KB)
Each of the nine surgical specialties administers its own
selection processes, under the auspices of the College Board of
Surgical Education and Training (BSET). Specialty Boards
receive approval from the Education Board for the selection tools
they use and the weightings given to them. A range of selection
tools is used. The weighting of selection tools must be reasonable
and fair to all applicants and will be determined prior to
commencement of the selection process.
Although some specialties have additional eligibility criteria,
all of the specialty boards use the same generic eligibility
Each specialty decides:
- The number of trainees to be appointed in that
(based on the number of available accredited hospital posts)
- The selection tools to be used and their comparative
- Any minimum acceptable score
The College collaborates with the Jurisdictions to
facilitate inclusion of government appointed Jurisdictional
Representatives on all College selection panels.
Eligibility criteria, fees and